In this episode of The Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Michelle Wilson Murphy. Michelle is the owner of Wilson Murphy Law and The CEO of Legal Loft. As a trademark and small business attorney, Michelle works with businesses and creatives to secure and protect their business through trademarks, contracts, copyrights, and business formations.
While many lawyers gravitate towards Linkedin to market themselves, Michelle’s bread and butter is TikTok and Instagram. Within just a few months after downloading TikTok, Michelle amassed thousands of followers and generated substantial new business as a result. You can connect with Michelle on TikTok or LinkedIn.
Podcast Show Notes
How did you get started with social media and why did you decide to put effort into TikTok in particular for legal marketing?
I graduated from law school in 2013, and once I passed the bar in Florida I moved to Washington D.C. and worked with the department of justice in their civil division. At the time I was working with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, and I did that for 4 or so years.
Eventually, I decided I wanted to venture off on my own, and I knew that I wanted to make social media part of my strategy but I wasn’t exactly sure how. I started with Instagram first and when I opened my firm in 2019 I downloaded TikTok at just about the same time.
When I got started with TikTok I was really just observing and I didn’t post anything. In March 2020 when the world shut down I decided to make a really big effort into doing TikTok. I took it seriously for about a year and I was able to grow to about 14,000 followers. Just one of my videos got me about 6,000-7,000 of those 14,000 followers and my account just grew from there.
Tell us a bit about your strategy on TikTok. How do you decide how to create content for the platform?
Once I had that one video that went viral, I just took that idea and ran with it. Every time I posted similar types of videos, they seemed to do really well, so I continued to follow that approach. I also started using the different sounds and hopped on different trends but in a way that my videos could relate to trademarks, which is what I do now.
I don’t think I really have a strategy per se. Generally, I like to do educational videos, and when there is a trend I try to figure out how to relate what I do to that trend. That being said, I get to be creative which I love because I work with creatives, so that aspect really excites me. By making such a boring subject matter exciting, it makes me happy that people enjoy it and find it helpful.
What kind of content have you created that performs the best?
For instance, I did a trademark vs copyright one. People confuse those all the time. One that went viral was one about what can you trademark. Generally, it’s these questions that attorneys think are super simple that other people know nothing about. If you can create something that’s really digestible and push it out you will be surprised at how many people find that content really helpful.
Have you been able to generate any new leads or get any new clients through your TikTok marketing?
I have! It’s funny because in the beginning when only teenagers and people in their early 20s were on TikTok, people would call me and say for instance “Hey I found you on my niece’s TikTok” because they didn’t have their own. But anyway, I have been able to funnel people into my email list or my Instagram where I post more often. On Instagram, I’m very active so that’s where people really get to know me.
I noticed you have over 7,000 followers on Instagram so you are really doing phenomenal there as well. How do you use Instagram to market your practice?
I use Instagram in many ways. I use Instagram for
- Content repurposing for my TikTok videos in Instagram Reels
- Carousel posts, which do really well for me
- Inspirational posts about what I’ve been through and how I’ve gotten to where I am now. These posts tend to do well for me as well.
- Instagram Stories where I post about my behind the scenes work
- Promoting webinars like the one coming up soon
Most of my conversions actually come from Instagram. I actually get even more conversions on Instagram than TikTok. TikTok is great for reach, and to get people to know who you are but people don’t really get to know you as a person on that platform. That being said, I like to use Instagram for relationship building.
What are some of the tools you like to use to create your content?
Canva, hands down. I use Canva for everything because it’s just so easy to use. Also, Facebook creator studio is free and it makes it easy for me to schedule out my posts.
It sounds to me like you are very authentic and you really let your personality come through which certainly not all lawyers do. Do you think that might be a reason why you are so successful?
I think so. I would say that like most attorneys I am risk-averse but I knew when I started out that I wanted to be myself. I always tell my clients that I will never show up with a suit and tie because that’s just not who I am. Instead, I’m silly, I’m goofy, I’m relaxed, and I certainly will get the job done, but as a client, if you are looking for someone who is super uptight, then we probably aren’t a good fit. That being said, I think I attract clients who are similar to me, and so I really like my clients.
Do you have a word of advice for lawyers just getting started on social media?
Be sure you are comfortable with doing what you are doing. Many lawyers aren’t comfortable being on video but there is a way around that. If that’s you and you aren’t ready to show your face just yet, give people just audio. Make sure you are being who you are and make sure you are being comfortable because people can see through BS. Additionally, never be afraid to try things. If you try something once and you hate it, then you don’t need to do it again but at least give it a chance before you dismiss it.
Since TikTok is a relatively new social media platform there is lots of uncertainty about how the platform can be used for law firms and businesses in general. However, trailblazer lawyers such as Michelle have proven that when used effectively, Tik Tok can be a powerful tool for generating new business. Considering that other platforms such as Linkedin or Facebook are relatively saturated with competition, new platforms such as Tik Tok could be a key opportunity to win new business for your law firm.
Do you need help creating compelling videos or putting together a social media marketing strategy that strengthens relationships with your future clients? Reach out to us for help.